Easter at the Zoo

Baby J’s second Easter was such a fun day. We went to the zoo, and this time he was actually old enough to look at the animals and be super interested in what was going on. Jaks LOVESSSS animals, so I knew he would love spending time at the zoo. His favorite exhibit was the birds! Then, a close second was the meerkat, followed by the giraffes and then goats maybe?. (I would have put the giraffes first, but he got scared when it licked his hand.)

The bird exhibit was basically just this wide open room with trees everywhere. They sold popsicle sticks dipped in honey and rolled in bird seed, so you could feed them. Jaks got to feed a couple of birds, and I’m pretty sure it was the best day of his life! He smiled from ear to ear the whole time!

The Cheyenne Mountain Zoo is the absolute best Zoo I have ever been to. They had a waterfall for the elephants, and they have the largest giraffe exhibit in the United States. Despite the sick feeling I get in the pit of my stomach at the thought of animals being held against their wills to be photographed and stared at behind bars, this Zoo seemed more like a sanctuary and a truly good place to live. All the animals seemed happy and very well taken care of! They even give you tokens for each ticket you buy to donate to the animal foundation of your choice.  Going to the zoo on easter is definitely going to be a new tradition for us.

So a few sunburns, sore cheeks, dippn’ dots, a carousel ride and lots of animal watching later, Jaks was worn out and fell asleep as soon as we got to the car. I wish I would have gotten more pictures, and the ones I did get weren’t great quality. But I will hold this memory close to my heart as one of the best days.

After the zoo we ate pizza, then went to great grandma and grandpa’s house for gifts and more food. We were so busy that we didn’t even do the egg hunt that I had planned, so Jaks and I will do it tomorrow when we’re home alone!

Such a good day. ❤️

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The POSITIVES of Being a Single Mom

Hey y’all!

It’s been a minute since I posted on the blog and it’s mostly because I just haven’t had the time or energy. Why didn’t anybody warn me how tiring being a parent is?? (Kidding. Everyone did.) but really. I didn’t take all of those warnings from my parents and friends and everyone else seriously. I never expected to wake up with a single goal: to shower today. And go to sleep unshowered and too tired to utilize my “free time” (the time after Jakson falls asleep) to accomplish my pathetic goal. It’s crazy y’all- it almost makes me wish DB (deadbeat, douche bag, dad of baby, etc) had stuck around and helped out instead of leaving me to explore parenting and adulthood all alone. ALMOST.

Despite the ridiculous situations I find myself in, like the one described above (which is a regular thing, btw.) there are some advantages to being a single mom.

For one, I can guarantee that Jakson will be kind and respectful when he grows up. I can raise him how I want and teach him values that I find important. Some things my ex and I just didn’t agree on, like same sex couples, for example. He thought it was a sin to be gay and that they were all bad people and a blah blah blah. I was SO shocked to hear him say this for the first time after knowing him for years, and wondered why we had never talked about it before. In my opinion, people’s sexual orientation does not define their character or sins any more than their race and gender do. Although Jakson will be able to make his own mind up about topics like this once he is old enough, I’d like for him to inherit my open mindedness. And since I’m his only parent I can raise him and teach him the way I think is best 🙂

Another disagreement we had was about how we would introduce him to sports and activities when he got older. I suggested we let him decide what he wanted to do, and sign him up for a variety of sports & activities so he can find what he’s interested in. This was not DB’s plan at all. He was very firm about the sport Jaks said was to play (which is the same sport he played and his dad before him played) and said that he WOULD push Jakson to do well in it. I can kind of understand wanting to pass on the legacy or whatever, but here’s where I had a problem: I have been to a sporting event with his family before. It was DB’s 10 year old cousin’s football game. The kid wasn’t athletic, and carried a little extra weight around with him. But instead of being encouraging and proud of him regardless, I sat in disbelief as their entire family spoke poorly of him and voiced their disappointment. The thought of the same thing happening to Jakson made my blood boil, and as you might have guessed, an argument was born.

I could keep going for days about all of the ridiculous fights we had about Jakson’s future and it’s crazy because they all happened within the 1-month stretch of time that he was actually around and made some efforts to be a dad. It was hard for me to compromise on some of the parenting techniques DB wanted to use, because by the time he came around Jakson was already 6 months old and I had done it on my own up until then. I was reluctant to let him come in and change everything that I had worked so hard for.

But the point is, it’s over now. The fighting and arguments were all for nothing because now, I am able to raise Jakson however I want. Though being a single mom is tough and at times trying, I wouldn’t have it the other way. I’m happy with my life and the people in it. And I am confident that my son will be a sweet, caring, non-judgmental human being. EMBRACE being a single mom and make the best of the special bond it creates between your child and you. 💕

To end this short post, here are five other ways I have found to appreciate being a single mom, instead of feeling envious of those happy families you see on social media (because let’s be honest, IT’S HARD sometimes.) :

  1. Jakson’s existence gives me the motivation I need to work hard and succeed on my own.
  2. I feel accomplished and proud to know that I alone raised such an amazing human
  3. I dont have to do laundry / cook / clean up after anyone but Jaks and I (score)
  4. I get to cuddle Jakson in bed with me every night! (double score)
  5. I love Jakson more than ANYONE in the world, and I know he feels the same way about me. Our bond is indescribable and exclusive to only us.

To single moms everywhere: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Remember the positives and pat yourselves on the back for being such strong and independent women. If you’d like, share what you are most thankful for being a single mom in the comments below! Happy Monday to you and yours!

xx Jordan

Dear Jakson 

Today I put a few M&M’s inside a little clear box and gave it to you. You twisted and turned it around over and over in your tiny hands, trying to figure it out and came to me for help when you couldn’t. It lasted for about half an hour and when you finally got it open, you grabbed the candies and gave them to me with a big smile on your face. 

Little silly moments like this one make me so proud to be your mama.  You find so much joy in sharing with others, and you have more compassion in one of your tiny fingernails than the rest of this world combined. Some day you’ll move mountains with your kind & caring heart. 

Never change, sweet boy. 

Toothless no more

Teething babies are hard.

We are pushing through the last week or so (hopefully) before my little Toothless the Dragon gets 8 teeth all at once! I can already see two popping through just barely, and the outlines of the other six underneath his swollen gums. My poor sweet boy has just wanted to nurse constantly, which makes me a little discouraged and also grateful. Reason being, we had finally cut the nursing down to 2-3 times a day at nap and bed times, and now he is always wanting to nurse and will barely take food. I am grateful, though, that I am able to soothe and feed him alternatively; I don’t know what these last couple weeks would have looked like if he hadn’t been able to nurse…… actually, I do. And a hungry baby in pain and with no way to help him doesn’t sound fun, my friends.

In a couple weeks we are going to a beauty and the beast symphony and I am so excited to see what Jaks thinks of it! Will he be scared? Will he dance? Will he like seeing the other kids dressed up? I don’t think I’ll dress him up (because even if I did it wouldn’t last- I can barely keep his shoes on him) but my good friend Judith bought him a Mickey Mouse ears hat with his name stitched on the back, so I will probably put that on him. 

Stay tuned for pictures of the symphony and especially for Jakson’s NEW TEETH!!! Happy Friday y’all 🙂 

P.S. We went to Freddy’s for ice cream- best date I’ve ever been on. I got out of the house AND it made his gummies feel good. Win-win 🍦

New Eyes

 I’d like to document a few things that have happened since we made our move to Colorado. First of all, Jakson has gotten out of the house significantly more than he did when we were back in Idaho. He sees other babies, we go grocery shopping, we go to Barnes & Noble and play with the train table (which by the way is quickly becoming one of my favorite places to meet new babies for jaks and new mamas for me) and overall we are just happier. 

Although its been a bit of a struggle adjusting to our new lifestyle and being away from the home that we rarely ever left, it’s a good change and a necessary one. I am so impressed by the progress Jakson has made being social with others! I swear he is growing up right before my eyes and every time I blink he’s doing something new. For example, a few days ago we had some people over and instead of being shy and clinging to my leg like a sloth, he crawled away from me to play with them, and didn’t even look back until 20 minutes later!!! This might not seem like a huge milestone to some, but Jakson has always been extremely shy so this is a serious miracle. Another great thing that happened is Jaks took his first solo bath last week, and has taken them alone ever since. Baths have always been a special bonding time between the two of us, and it makes me a little sad to see him growing too big for it… But also proud of him for being so brave and finding new independence. Another milestone to note is that he has started standing on his own for long periods of time (and attempting to lift the heaviest object he can find… *eyeroll* Boys amiright?) It will not be long now before he is waddling around keeping me even more busy. 

On another note, an unexpected change since arriving is not having a phone. My phone has been pretty rough for a while and the last straw was it falling out of my hoodie pocket and onto the tile floor. This paralyzed the touch screen, so I can see all of the notifications but can’t unlock it or use it. This has honestly been one of the best things that has happened since our move. I never realized how much I used it until it was gone, and now that it’s gone it’s such a relief and a breath of fresh air. Some of the changes I have had to adjust to without a phone are:

  • No communication with people, outside of the occasional use of my sister’s phone to talk to my mom. This ones obvious but has been surprisingly great. I haven’t had contact with anyone from Idaho and it feels good to leave it behind, completely. 
  • No social media. I’ll be honest, I was addicted to social media, though I never would have admitted it. I would wake up in the middle of the night and scroll through Instagram and get headaches the next morning. I love that I can focus on my life and my child and not see what everyone else is doing.
  • I can’t occasionally stalk my exes social media. Doesn’t need explanation, everyone does it. Moving on. 
  • I have started reading more. I was always using my lack of time as an excuse for not reading anymore, but all along I was wasting my time on my phone. Who woulda thought? 
  • I can’t use recipes from pinterest. So I have had to wing it and actually learn how to cook on my own. 
  • Also, I’m a lot more creative and confident as a parent without searching for ideas on pinterest about keeping jaks entertained and how to discipline and whatever else.
  • I haven’t had navigation to find my way around this unfamiliar city. Although I have lived here before, I was too young to pay attention to the roads.This one has been tough, but has forced me to pay attention to where I’m going and not rely on Siri for help.
  • I use my camera a lot more.
  • Jaks and I have more quality time, which is making me a better parent and helps me understand him.
  • We go outside a lot more! This is also mostly due to the weather but everyone needs to go outside more.

Some of these seem silly but I’m just being honest. My life has changed dramatically because of a phone??? I encourage everyone to go a week without your phone. I mean turned off and hidden by someone you can trust until the week is over. Since going without, I see how cliche and staged everyones lives are on social media. Why do we all want the same designer crib? Same color walls? Same hairdo and clothes and eyebrows? Same pictures with our babies? My favorite pictures to look back on are not the ones I staged to be instagram worthy. They’re the ones that were unplanned. In 20 years we’re all going to have these pictures of our staged lives instead of memories that are real. I personally no longer care to have a nice phone or even a smart phone, and am planning on getting rid of my social media entirely. I just feel better and happier without it. 

Anyways,  there’s the end of my liberating experience of going without a phone (how embarrassing) but hopefully someone can relate? I’m going to use this time to read my new fav book Outlander. If you’ve never seen the show, watch it. I don’t know if I would understand the book quite as well without watching the show first. But reading it is like watching the show again with deleted scenes- its the best! 

Hope everyone is having a lovely Monday! 💓

XO, J

Mama Tried 

Today I have been looking back at some of the old pictures off of my camera. Ones from when Jaks was still immobile and was always happy. At the time I didn’t notice I was living in one of the best stages of his life: no fits, no attitude, no getting into things he shouldn’t, and always happy and smiling for the camera. The summer of 2016 was truly a dream. I will always remember it as some of the best days of my life.

Lately I’ve been feeling unsure of myself and my parenting. I don’t know the right way to punish, or if I should even be doing that yet. I don’t like the idea of spanking my child but feel pressured by everyone I know to use this method of discipline. Jaks is testing me more and more each day, and I’m starting to see that “no” isn’t effective anymore, and when I try to keep him out of something he shouldn’t have he doesn’t even hear what I’m saying or if he’s in trouble. He just continues doing whatever he is doing and doesn’t even look up at me. To some, this might seem like the opportune moment to spank the child and “teach him a lesson”, but he learns so quickly by example that I’m afraid this form of discipline only backfires causing more bad behavior, which only furthers my desire to find an alternate way of teaching him to listen.

Patience is key, right? I have read all the parenting books and try my hardest to practice “monkey see monkey do”, but lets be honest. Talking it through and setting a good example doesn’t always work for a one year old. (Especially stubborn independent ones like Jaks) The last thing any parent wants is to raise a spoiled brat. All I want is to hear “he is so well behaved!” And “you’re doing a great job!” But instead I find myself apologizing for his out of control behavior in public and promising he is really a good kid… And he is. When we’re at home he is polite and he plays. He shares all of his toys with everyone- even the dogs. He does have a bad habit of throwing fits when I take away something he shouldn’t have, or change his diaper when he’s in the middle of playing. But I think most could say the same about their one year old, and regardless he truly is a great baby. Sitting down at a restaurant, on the other hand, is a different story.

People say that it’s just a phase and that he will outgrow it but I’m worried it’s  becoming a habit. I need him to listen to me and respect me. Understand that I’m the boss. And I don’t know how to make that happen. Why is parenting so hard? While I sit and try to make sense of the sweet one year old that I hold in my arms (and the rest of my messy life) I can’t help but feel nostalgic for the simpler stages of parenting. What a great summer that was, with my little six month old Jaks, taking 5 stroller walks a day and having picnics outside with the pups. I can only imagine that it gets harder from here, and one day I will long for the season of life that I am in right now, so I shouldn’t waste time wishing for yesterday.

XO, Jordan

P.S. . . . .  I went to dinner with a couple friends the other day, and Jaks was so fussy. I went to the bathrrom with him three times during the night to try to calm him down, and the last time I went into the bathroom, as I was leaving (probably looking clearly defeated) an old lady stopped me and told me how handsome Jaks was and how much we looked alike. She told me about her children, and how her youngest great grandson had just turned four. She said that time flies by so fast that she felt like it was yesterday when she was in my shoes, with a teething baby and a weary look on her face. “Cherish every moment, enjoy every stage. Fits and all. It truly does go by so fast.” 2/26/2017

Moving Day

Today’s the day- we’re moving!

Jakson has always lived in the same house so I’m a little curious as to how he will react to being in a new place. Is he going to be scared? Excited? Sad?Meanwhile, I was up all night packing because I hadn’t even STARTED yet until yesterday (I know) & instead of getting most of it done yesterday during the day time, I invited a friend over to say goodbye and basically ended up talking/ dancing/ laughing the day away. Whoops.

So anyways, it’s 8 a.m. and Jaks is still asleep so  I’m going to take this time to freaking breathe and relax before spending nine hours in the car with a one year old, two dogs, and my mother. I think I am sufficiently prepared. I packed lots of snacks, chocolate, a blanket and pillow, change of clothes, singing seahorse (aka the only thing that puts Jakson to sleep besides boob), phone charger, diapers, teething tablets, and a kindle with some movies on it for the ride. Am I missing anything?

(Hours later)

Well, we’re about an hour into our 9 hour drive and we are freaking POOPED. Jakson refused to eat breakfast this morning so naturally he was starving the minute we left the house and nursed me dry, which made me feel starving so we just stopped for burrito bowls (YES!). After we ate Jakson fell asleep almost immediately and now I’ve got a minute to document our big move:

Despite the bumpy road and smelly car because TWO DOGS AND A BABY- the trip is beautiful. Pine trees everywhere, snow, river…. it’s endless. If you have never driven through the Rocky Mountains of Idaho / Wyoming, put it on your bucket list. Jackson Hole is a must and although it’s pretty expensive to stay there, you can get a cheap hotel/ b&b just on the other side of the mountain in the cutest town called victor, Idaho! The whole area is a freakin postcard y’all. And that is where I have lived for the last FIVE YEARS. But I am so excited for what’s to come in our new home & we will be closer to my sister and my best friend Mattie. Not only will we be adding good people to our life, but eliminating negative ones as well. The valley is so pretty and I will miss my view, but the people there are so cliquey and gossipy and stuck up, especially when you had a child at 16. (I can’t even go to the grocery store without feeling people stop and stare and whisper and its really annoying.) There’s honestly only 1-2 people that I will genuinely miss, which is pretty sad considering I’ve called this place my home for 5 years. But one thing I have learned in the last two of those five is that having a child in high school will prove who your real friends are; and that is something I am thankful for. I’m taking this new beginning as an opportunity to start over, drama free. New home. New number. No social media. No negativity. A fresh start is exactly what we need. I am happy to leave the past behind and finally say that we made it through!

Here are some (pretty unquality) pictures from the ride:

Happy Thursday y’all!

xo, J&J